Women compete equally against men when mounted on HORSES of similar talents ---
and a single female citizen can compete equally against a moneyed 'princess'---(those who know me - know not to call another human 'royal'-- we got RID of royal blood when the Declaration of Independence was sent to old England)...:
Princess and the Pauper: Zara and the rival rider who has to muck out the stables
By Chris Brooke
Last updated at 2:20 AM on 05th May 2009
On the face of it, Zara Phillips and Phoebe Buckley don't have a great deal in common.
While Princess Anne's daughter approaches her equestrian career from a background of the greatest privilege, Phoebe comes from a family of travellers and mucks out stables to pay her way.
Yet both women will find themselves competing on equal terms this week at the Badminton Horse Trials.
Riding on a shoestring: Traveller Phoebe Buckley and her horse Frostie are competing against Zara Phillips at Badminton this week
The success of Zara, who is the world eventing champion, has proved no great surprise given the historical involvement of royalty and the wealthy in the sport - not to mention the aptitude inherited from her parents.
Phoebe, 24, is blazing an altogether more difficult and unfamiliar trail.
With barely any funds or connections to help her rise up the equestrian ladder, she has had to rely on a thick skin, determination, hard work and talent for a shot at the big time. Her 13-year-old horse Frostie cost £1,800 and will arrive at the big event in a battered old horsebox.
By contrast, the Queen's 27-year-old granddaughter has a state-of-the-art £250,000 air-conditioned transport system and trains on the 800-acre estate in Gloucestershire where she shares a £650,000 cottage with rugby star Mike Tindall.
Phoebe's home is a tiny log cabin built by her father on a travellers' site in Willingham, Cambridgeshire. She says she will 'let her riding do the talking' at the event, which carries a first prize of £60,000.
Sponsorship deals: Zara's mounts travel in a £250,000 horsebox and train on an 800-acre estate in Gloucestershire
'I think I would be treated very differently if I wasn't from travelling roots but sometimes it's nice to be a bit of an underdog,' she admits.
'There's always a certain amount of snobbery at horseriding events but it's usually a small minority who will think what they want whatever I say to them.
'It's hard for me when people are narrow-minded but I just try to keep my head down.'
Zara, who learned to ride at four, has sponsorship deals with Land Rover, Rolex and Cantor Index.
Phoebe, who is single, earns between £12,000 and £20,000 a year and has no significant sponsorship deals.
She began riding bareback on the travellers' site after watching the TV series If Wishes Were Horses as an 11-year-old.
Miss Buckley, pictured in a recent competition, said she is undeterred by her royal rival
She went on to work as a stablehand and now helps out at four local liveries in between competing at trialling events across Britain.
The majority of riders attending this year's Badminton horse trials, which take place between May 7 to 10, come from well-off families who underwrite their careers.
But Phoebe, who has to combine competing with earning a living, still believes that she can finish in the top 15 of the expected 85-strong field at Badminton, which begins on Thursday.
She says: 'Horses are great levellers because they don't care if they have come out of an expensive lorry or a little trailer.
'Frostie, bless her, is a very small horse and she is only just tall enough to compete at Badminton.
'But even if she's not as flashy as some of the top horses she works very hard and definitely holds her own.'
FREEDOM-FAMILY and HORSES are my passion --and dogs and cats too!
BTW-when I use the word 'royals' to discuss our SERVANTS in government -it is a pejorative.